July 24, 2019 BY

Anglesea artist Cinnamon Stephens stands proudly with one of the ten artworks installed in the shopping strip carpark last Wednesday. Photo: HANNAH KENNY

A series of large-scale metal artworks were perched on the light posts along Anglesea’s main shopping centre last Wednesday as part of a two-year initiative to enliven the precinct.

Created by Cinnamon and Rowan Stephens of Studio 66, each artwork tells a story about the town’s native flora and fauna while paying homage to Australia’s First Peoples.

Business and Tourism Anglesea executive officer Raylene Fordham said there was a great need to brighten the Anglesea streetscape as previous art installations had been subject to vandalism.

“About five years ago, there was a community initiative to brighten up our seasonal period with some twinkle lights which we did in some trees, but unfortunately over a couple of years they were vandalised because they were at arm-height and people just pulled them out.”

She said a local trader put forward the idea of a permanent art installation that would not only capture the essence of Anglesea’s history but stimulate discussion and curiosity.

“The outcome has been that we now have permanent art installations in our main shopping centre that will be inquisitive, that people will come and see, and that people will talk about,” Ms Fordham said.

While she was flattered to be commissioned, Ms Stephens said it was rather daunting as she’s resided in Anglesea for a number of years.

However, after the initial three artworks were installed late last year as part of a trial, she felt emboldened.

“I got very nervous because I live in the town and all these pieces of my soul are going to be bared to the public but when we put the first three up, they were received so warmly and we had such amazing feedback that now it’s just been exciting,” the artist said.

Each piece is outlined with solar bud lights and handmade using steel and mesh. The bud lights will be switched on from the start of December until the end of January.

Ms Stephens undertook a wealth of research during the project in order to accurately represent the town’s most distinct natural treasures.

“I was blown away by the opportunity so that’s when I came up with the designs for Raylene to take to the meeting and they all just loved it,” she said.